Exploring a tragic attack upon the keep at Riverend, it lands the reader squarely in the middle of relationship problems between the king’s daughter Sara, and her Warder, Shaun. Before anything between the two can be resolved, a vicious attack by Mordwell causes the pair to flee for their lives at the order of the king. The two must face more than their feelings for one another, in addition to fleeing for their lives, they have to face the fact that Shaun has been bitten by one of the Mordwell creatures, and the results are horrific. Short as the book is, I was of course left wanting more immediately. Part one barely skims the surface of what looks like a decent dark series.
The plot, so far as we see it in this truncated piece, is a setting and an adventure at once. The protagonists are young, but this is not YA. People are attacked and killed by the hundreds, burned by sorcerous fire, or even flayed alive. There is a very dark vein to this story. The enemy, the Mordwellians, are superbly easy to hate and they are a nasty lot indeed. They use dark magic and have created deadly, horrifying, warrior creatures to supplant their armies.
There’s a touch of romance in Corruption of Honor, but only to further the plot and complicate the main character's lives further. It’s needed to allow the main characters to take certain actions and it alters their decisions. As of the end of part 1, this isn’t a “kissy book” by a long shot, and the synopsis below carries a warning.
Part one quite short and it’s obvious this is larger novel cut down. My only complaint in general are these two things. Other than that it having been so abruptly chopped off, the story and writing are actually superb. We understand how writers are pushed to this due to printing costs, if warranted, and a higher volume of sales for them in the long run. The other negative for me was that there’s two historical addendum at the back of the book which contain information the reader should gotten as a prologue. Each are less than two pages, but are highly informative. I immediately wished they had been in the beginning, or written into the story. I understand how they’d make a rather dull prologue, but info dump or not, they should’ve been in the beginning. There are certainly not any info dumps to speak of within the story, there is action from page one. I feel an author with this level of talent could’ve made this history fit without disrupting the novel to any great degree. In fact it would’ve enriched the book.
Everything else about the book is quite enjoyable, the fast pacing, good characterizations, and unlike a noble bright, the main characters aren’t winning their way through to a happy ending.
Synopsis: *War is Shaun Grayson’s new nightmare. She always knew it was a possibility when she became an apprentice knight of Riverend. But she never thought she would find herself fleeing through the wilds of the Ten Kingdoms, cut off from help, defending the king’s daughter Sara against the creatures sent to hunt her down. She fights to get Sara to safety. The tensions between them don’t make her job any easier. But they need each other if they’re to survive. Each day could be their last as their kingdom draws closer to collapse. Shaun’s training days are over, and failure isn’t an option. A gritty coming of age tale, where dark magic and even darker alliances threaten the tenuous balance of power within the Ten Kingdoms.
*Content Warning: The explicit violence in this book may not be suitable for all readers.